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Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

AALS Contracts: Day 2

Aals_logo_2 Today's schedule at the AALS Conference on The Boundaries of Contract Law in Montreal:

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Joint Plenary of Conferences on Commercial Law and Contract Law
Implications of Limited Rationality for Contract and Commercial Law
G. Marcus Cole, Stanford Law School
Manuel A. Utset, University of Utah
Danielle Kie Hart, Southwestern University
Moderator: Robert A. Hillman, Cornell Law School

Legal scholarship has increasingly turned to the learning of cognitive psychology to understand how people make decisions and to explain why decisions often depart from economic rationality. Such insights enrich both descriptive and normative accounts of contract and commercial law.

This panel will explore various implications of insights concerning people’s limited ability to collect and process information, their tendency to utilize “mental shortcuts” in making decisions, and the biases they bring to decision-making. The panel will also consider the limitations of cognitive psychology as it is applied to the analysis of contract and commercial law.

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Critiquing Contract Law
Jay M. Feinman, Rutgers University, Camden
Deborah Waire Post, Touro College
Neil Gregory Williams, Loyola University, Chicago
Moderator: Blake D. Morant, Washington and Lee University

On its face, the law of contract is objective, eschewing any notion of societal inequities. The objectivity and abstraction fostered by the principles of contract law have an illusory quality when viewed in terms of actual human contexts. Societal stimuli related to bias, opportunism, and discretion can skew the effectiveness of contractual rules. This panel will challenge the seeming objectivity of contract law and critique its theories and rules as they intersect with bargaining relationships that implicate race, ethnicity, gender, or other attributes of difference.

12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Joint AALS Sponsored Luncheon for Conferences on Commercial Law and Contract Law
Richard E. Speidel, Northwestern University

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Contract Across the Curriculum
Margaret Friedlander Brinig, University of Iowa
Einer R. Elhauge, Harvard Law School
Jody Freeman, University of California at Los Angeles
Moderator: Blake D. Morant, Washington and Lee University

The utility of contract law extends beyond the bounds of traditional commercial relationships. In fact, principles of contract law provide probative insight and analysis into a variety of legal disciplines. This panel will demonstrate the broad applicability of contract theory to such diverse disciplines as family law, administrative and regulatory law, and public choice theory.

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break

3:45 - 5:15 p.m.
Small Groups with a Panel

5:15 - 7:00 p.m.
AALS Reception

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